Nestled in the Sacred Valley is the ancient town of Pisac. Pisac is a favorite stop among international visitors with a vibrant market filled with textiles and other Peruvian goods for purchase. Taking the back road out of town, high on the mountain range stands the Inca ruins of Pisac. Some of the best ruins in the Sacred Valley region, these ruins have a marvelous view over Pisac and the Urubamba River.
The ruins at Pisac show a complete Inca village including agricultural terraces, two residential areas, a sacred plaza and food storage areas. The location of Pisac ruins allowed the Incas to control the route that connected the Inca Empire with Paucartambo. (source: http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/destinations/cusco/pisac.html)
The agricultural terraces are nothing short of spectacular. Not only did they create these high on steep mountainsides, each terrace included an elaborate drainage system below the surface.
When the Spanish came and conquered the Incas, one of the first things the Spaniards did was destroy the most religious section within the sacred plazas throughout Inca villages. Known as the Intihuatana, or the Sun Hitching Post, nearly all are gone but two that can be seen are one here at Pisac, and the other at Machu Picchu.
The Sacred Plaza at Pisac is clearly indicated by the refinement in the stone work.
Entryway towards the Sacred Plaza Area
The Incas were engineering marvels, knowing how to maximize the water source and allow a drainage system that would put the Romans to shame, Pisac offers multiple fountains and waterways throughout.
If you look closely at the aquaduct above, one can see the clear and straight cut that the Incas made in the granite. It is speculated that the Incas had help from aliens, as to be able to cut such a straight edge in such hard rock is virtually impossible without modern machinery. These tight cuts are seen all throughout the empire of Inca ruins.
One lesser known section of the Pisac Ruins is the cemetery area. It is said that that more than 10,000 Inca souls were buried in the mountainside, these tunnels carved into the rock have long been ransacked. It is a true quandary just how the Incas arrived to the middle of this cliff to even begin to dig the grave holes.
Truly the ruins at Pisac are spectacular, with all elements of a true Inca village included. The ruins are quite expansive and can be challenging to traverse due to steep inclines and the famous – or rather infamous Inca steps. But the effort is well worth it.
Inca Tunnel at Pisac